BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. — David Wise has a new rival.
Under a setting sun at the 10th annual Dew Tour in Breckenridge, Colo., on Saturday, Wise and Torin Yater-Wallace put down some of the best halfpipe runs of their freeskiing careers to take the top two spots on the podium in men’s halfpipe.
In what appeared to be a battle of one-upmanship, Yater-Wallace took the lead with a huge double cork 1260 on the first hit and landed what is arguably the biggest double flat spin alley-oop ever, which moved him into first with a 92.25.
Then Wise, who won the opening Sprint U.S. Grand Prix the previous week — and a gold medal in the 2014 Olympics — dropped into what he says was the best run of his life, linking back-to-back 1260 doubles to move ahead of Wallace with a 94.75.
But in Wallace’s second run, he landed an even bigger frontside 1260 and linked back-to-back alley-oop double corks that gave him a winning score of 95.25. Wallace finished runner-up to Wise the previous week.
“Coming into tonight, I just knew it was going to be a hot contest because last week at the Grand Prix was so intense,” said Wise, who is sponsored by Northstar California Resort. “Torin came out first run and landed the biggest double alley-oop flat spin I’ve ever seen, so I was like, ‘All right, that’s how you’re gonna set the bar,’ and then I landed probably the best run of my life, first run.
“Got every grab, super smooth, went huge and couldn’t be more happy with that run. And Torin throws another heater run and moves into first. I’m stoked on the Wallace-versus-Wise rivalry.”
Kyle Smaine of South Lake Tahoe finished 10th.
Bowman returns to form
In the women’s halfpipe skiing finals on Friday, Olympic champion Maddie Bowman of South Lake Tahoe earned her second consecutive Dew Tour win in her first competition back from a knee injury.
Bowman picked up right where she left off last season, riding strong and landing both right and left 900s in her runs to take the win with a score of 91.25. She was joined on the podium by U.S. Freeskiing teammate Annalisa Drew, who was second with an 86.25.
Japan’s Ayana Onozuka (85.75) put together a large second run to clinch third place just ahead of the previous week’s U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix halfpipe winner, Janina Kuzma (85).
“Today went really well. I just wanted to come out here and have fun and get my runs together,” Bowman said. “It’s a great first comp after knee surgery. I felt a different pressure (after the Olympics) when I came out here but I just decided to go skiing and have fun. And you always do better when you just go ski and have fun.”
Locals reign supreme in slopestyle
On the slopestyle course, hometown hero Keri Herman took the win in the women’s final while Gus Kenworthy of Telluride won on the men’s side.
Herman’s first run, which was packed with 720s in all directions, landed her on top of the podium just ahead of Emma Dalstrom and U.S. Freeskiing teammate Julia Krass.
Rookie skier Krass landed her second run and with a corked 720 and a solid rail section to step onto her first Dew Tour podium. Slopestyle favorite Maggie Voisin fell in her first run and decided to sit out her second.
In the men’s final, Olympic medalist Nick Goepper joined Kenworthy on the podium in third.
Kenworthy seemed unphased by the fresh snow that accumulated during the event, landing an impressive winning run with a left double cork 1080 tailgrab and a standout switch left 270 to lipslide on the wallride.
Sweden’s Oystein Bratten snagged second place just ahead of Goepper, who linked left and right double cork 1080s on the last two jumps. Olympic Champion Joss Christensen struggled to find speed and ended up sixth.